Say-so evidence of sexual assault against Greenaway underpins crimen exceptum

Andrew L. Urban.

 Noel Greenaway, a model citizen of impeccable character in his late 70s, is convicted of 18 nasty sexual and physical abuse offences alleged to have occurred in the 1960s – half a century in the past – simply on the say-so of five middle aged women who were then juvenile delinquent inmates at an institution….who complained simultaneously but had never before mentioned any of it to anyone. 

That is what happened to Greenaway, now in his mid 80s, sentenced (in 2020) to 20 years jail. His nightmare began when the claimants, for the first time, vented their claims at the 2014 Royal Commission Into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse (2013-2017). The police took it up and presented a brief of evidence … except it contained no direct evidence, only the claimants’ allegations.

Child sex abuse is today’s crimen exceptum – a crime so exceptional that the established rules of justice need not be applied to it, according to sociologists.

In his summing up to the jury, trial judge The Hon. Richard Weinstein SC, explained: “The evidence comprises the answers that witnesses gave to questions asked of them.  That is important to remember because sometimes a question is suggested to a witness, a proposition is put.  If the witness does not adopt the suggestion or agree with the proposition, then there is no evidence of that fact. So the evidence then is the answers that the witness gives in the course of their evidence and the exhibits*  that you will have with you in the jury room.  On that material, and on that material alone, you arrive at your verdicts.”

*The exhibits consist of certificates, documents, reports, photos; there is no further evidence contained in the 75 trial exhibits.

Noel Greenaway has always vehemently denied all the allegations. Prior to sentencing, the judge received dozens of glowing character references from family, friends and others, all believing him to be incapable of the alleged offences.

There is no place in an evidence based criminal justice system for crimen exceptum. Studies of early modern witchcraft contain many references to witchcraft as a crimen exceptum — an exceptional crime that was not subject to regular judicial procedures or standards of proof.

Sociologists describe the environment surrounding sexual allegations as a dangerously biased moral crusade. It is one of the key elements of this wrongful conviction – as we conclude from the so-called evidence:

Greenaway case – key elements

Ø  No direct evidence

Ø  Unreliable testimony of claimants

Ø  Inexperienced investigators

Ø  Prospect of reward for claimants

Ø  Tendency evidence allowed

Ø  A moral crusade powered by MeToo




Andrew L. Urban is the author of the upcoming book, Presumption of Evil – Noel Greenaway: sexual abuser or collateral damage? with Foreword by Margaret Cunneen SC.


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3 Responses to Say-so evidence of sexual assault against Greenaway underpins crimen exceptum

  1. Brian Johnston says:

    Andrew, we are attempting to sort the case. One does not start off saying Greenaway is innocent, you are in fact taking an inverted police approach. Facts will lead you to a conclusion one way or the other. You were not there, therefore you ought to have an open mind.
    You have Keogh innocent and I believe you are wrong on that matter.

    I have Bryant innocent. What your view?

    Moni. What on earth caused those men to concoct such a ridiculous case against Greensil.
    And what about their lawyer buying into the trash.

    One of our largest problems is half-witted juries.
    The prosecution run a case for a conviction. They put it across a dumb jury.
    Many of the judges I believe see it and dont act and are therefore complicit in a bad decision.

  2. moni says:

    So many cases!!

    Watch Australian Story, Josephine Greensill wrongly convicted for a crime she did not commit on the story of 2 men. Her life was utterly destroyed and if it wasn’t for her sisters who found a good lawyer for her Appeal she would still be in prison.

    There has to be a better way.

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